Leadership, Reflections & Introspection, Worship & Prayer

The BIG Question: Numbers

29 May , 2013  

I always get asked the question… You know, the “Does Numbers Matter?”, or “How do I increase our SM numbers? or even “Spiritual Growth over Numerical Growth” questions. A few months ago, I address this during a quick Q&A session I did on Twitter and my blog. Decided to repost since these questions are some of the biggest things Youth Pastors are wondering…

Phillip C. from VA asks: “Hi, I am a Youth Pastor in VA. I have a quick question… What do I do when the attendance starts to dwindle down? Like, we usually average about 75 students weekly but our ministry team has notice that has decrease to about 40-45 students. Any suggestions?”

— PRAY, COMPEL & PREACH…

  • PRAY hard & specifically over the youth ministry, the leaders and that the vision goes forth the way God desires. Invite your leaders/staff to Pre-Service prayer to pray over the service and ministry that’s about to go down that night. Often times we neglect the importance on consecrated prayer. The only thing we can control, are the actions that we put forth.
  • COMPEL the students who have frequently missed to come back. Maybe taking time to call them or visit with them would be beneficial. It’s little things like this that make a huge impact. Make adjustments based on feedback, if necessary. This compelling is also and somewhat more important is to COMPEL others (new visitors/guest, and/or lost students) to Jesus and the ministry. I am reminded of the story in Luke 14:15-24 talking about the Master having a banquet and none of the guest he originally invited (students who left) wanted to show up for the party (church). So the Master tells his servant to go out in the streets/city and “compel” the sick/needy/lost (new people) to come in for the party. With this said, have concern about those who are missing, but focus on the ones who are there while compelling the ones who don’t know to join in.
  • PREACH Jesus… Regardless if 1 show up or 1,000s, preach Jesus!!! “Preach to the 12 as you would preach to the multitudes.” This is exactly what Jesus did, faithfully!

Don’t get discouraged if the numbers are low… don’t get cocky/arrogant when the numbers are high. Everything has a divine season.. a time of reaping and of sowing. This maybe your ministry time of sowing… sow well! Praying for you and the ministry as you accomplish the vision set by God. Blessings!

Alex T. from TX asks: “Numerical Growth vs. Spiritually Growth.. What’s your take on it, biblically?”

– BOTH… We need both. Jesus calls us to grow spiritually and numerically. When we grow Spiritually as a church/ministry, we have no choice but to grow numerically. God believes in both wholeheartedly growing together. What good is it to be physically strong (large church/ministry) but mentally (maturity/knowledge) weak/depraved OR to be physically weak and mentally strong. One is the “dumb jock” while the other is the “skinny nerd.” There needs to be balance and this is what it means to have healthy/thriving church/ministry. Regardless if you are called to minister to 15 or to 15k people… you’re still fulfilling your purpose GOD has given you. The reward is equal, the risk is equal, the faith and work is equal. Never allow anyone to diminish what God is doing in your ministry and never try to be something you are not. Jesus preached to the multitudes, then he preach to the 12, then he preached to the 3. He even preached to the 1 at times. If you grow spiritual, you have no choice but to grow numerical. (Luke 2:40,52; Act 2:42-47, 4:4, 5:14, 6:1, 6:7, 9:31, 11:21-24; 3 John 1:2)

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